PREVIEW: Back (to Back) Into It

Thursday, 02.21.13 / 1:42 AM
By Stockton Thunder Staff

GAME: Stockton Thunder at Bakersfield Condors
DATE: Thursday, February 21, 2013
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
SITE: Rabobank Arena
RADIO: 1280 AM KWSX/StocktonThunder.com (AmericaOne)
WATCH PARTY: Fat’s Grill

NHL AFFILIATES

Stockton Thunder: Edmonton Oilers
Bakersfield Condors: Independent

BENTON’S BLOG: Game day – Emotion and Atmosphere

NEXT HOME GAME

Sunday, Feb. 24 vs. Ontario Reign (4:00 p.m.)
PUCK/FAMILY DAY (Sutter Gould Medical Foundation, Farmers Insurance Company, 99.3 KJOY, Angelina’s Italian Cuisine, and 97.7/98.3 KWIN)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP

The Thunder renews a divisional rivalry with the Bakersfield Condors at Rabobank Arena. It will be the tenth of 11 meetings between the teams this season. The Thunder has dominated the series with a 6-2-1 record and is guaranteed a winning record this season against the Condors. They carry a record of 35-29-13 against Bakersfield and lost in their last meeting, 4-3 at Rabobank Arena on Feb. 5. The game matches Thunder head coach Matt Thomas against Bakersfield counterpart Matt O’Dette – previously a Thunder defenseman, captain and assistant coach from 2008-11. Thomas has the upper hand in the matchup with a lifetime 14-7-1 record. Bakersfield comes off a 4-2 win at Las Vegas on Tuesday.

2012-13 Head to Head Schedule: (6-2-1)

Sat. Oct. 27 Stockton 4 at Bakersfield 3
Sun. Oct. 28 Bakersfield 2 at Stockton 3 (OT)
Fri. Nov. 2 Bakersfield 1 at Stockton 6
Fri. Nov. 23 Bakersfield 3 at Stockton 6
Sat. Dec. 1 Bakersfield 5 at Stockton 4 (SO)
Sun. Dec. 9 Stockton 1 at Bakersfield 4
Thur. Dec. 27 Stockton 4 at Bakersfield 2
Fri. Dec. 28 Stockton 6 at Bakersfield 3
Tue. Feb. 5 Stockton 3 at Bakersfield 4
Thur. Feb. 21 at Bakersfield 7:00 p.m.
Sun. Mar. 17 Bakersfield 4:00 p.m.

NOTE OF THE NIGHT

The Thunder is 13-3-3 when leading after one period this season.

LAST THREE GAMES:

ONT 4 – STK 1 (2/20/13): The Ontario Reign used three goals in the third period to stop a rally by the Stockton Thunder (27-21-9, 63 points) and skate away in a 4-1 win before a crowd of 5,591 at Citizens Business Bank Arena on Wednesday. The Thunder fell to 1-1-0 on its four game road trip and got on the board in the third period with a key goal by Matt Bergland. The Reign, who countered 13 seconds later and buried the game’s two final goals, never looked back and got 21 saves by Dusty Carlson in net.

STK 3 – SF 1 (2/17/13): Goaltender Tyler Bunz made 26 saves for his first win since Jan. 5 and the Stockton Thunder (27-20-9, 63 points) used a pair of second period goals to sink the San Francisco Bulls in a 3-1 victory before 4,123 fans at the Cow Palace on Sunday. The win gave the Thunder their first three-game win streak since late November and meant their first win at the Cow Palace this season.

STK 4 – SF 0 (2/16/13): Goaltender Olivier Roy helped the Thunder close out Military Appreciation Weekend in style, stopping all 34 shots he faced and recording the fifth shutout of his professional career in a 4-0 victory for the Stockton Thunder (26-20-9, 61 points) over the San Francisco Bulls in front of 7,526 fans on Saturday at Stockton Arena. Center Gabriel Levesque lead the Thunder with two goals, while forward Matt Reber finished with two assists. Center Eric Hunter and forward Matt Bergland each chipped in with a goal.

UPCOMING MILESTONES

• Maxime Boisclair is 3 points away from 100 in his ECHL career
• Garet Hunt is 4 points away from 100 in his ECHL career
• Shawn Weller is 16 games away from 100 in his ECHL career

BACK (TO BACK) AT IT AGAIN

The Thunder plays in several games this season featuring back-to-back or “three-in-three” scenarios. When faced with their second game or third game in as many days, the Thunder has a record of 13-7-4 this season. They last beat San Francisco on back to back days, 4-0 on Feb. 16 and 3-1 on Feb. 17.

HELLO (AGAIN)

The Thunder was boosted by recent additions to their lineup with goaltender Olivier Roy and defenseman Brandon Davidson assigned to the team from Oklahoma City on last Tuesday. Roy was named Thunder “Rookie of the Year” last season when he broke the team record with four shutouts. Davidson, an Oilers sixth round selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, had a career high 13 goals in 69 games last season with Regina (WHL) and added 49 points (3rd in team scoring), earning a selection on the WHL Second All-Star Team (Eastern Conference).

TO THE MAX

Thunder forward Maxime Boisclair has picked up eleven points in 14 games since joining the Thunder as a signed free agent. Boisclair has five goals in 2012-13. He was named an ECHL All-Star as a member of the Eastern Conference team in 2006-07.

THE DEFENSE DOESN’T REST

During the month of February, the Thunder defense has limited opponents to three goals or less in each of the five games featuring a win or shootout loss (Feb. 9 at Alaska – 3-2 shootout loss). Until last night at Ontario, the Thunder defense allowed just two goals in the previous three games.

OH CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN

Garet Hunt was named the sixth captain in Thunder history on Oct. 12, taking the “C” for the first time in his career for full-time duty. Hunt served as an alternate captain for the Thunder last season and has helped guide the team to the playoffs for four straight seasons since his 2008-09 rookie campaign. Hunt is the Thunder all-time leader with 301 games played.

2013 Playoff March Notes

STANDINGS: Up to date – Western Conference

- The Thunder has 15 regular season games remaining and a magic number of 8 to clinch a tie for a playoff berth.
- Stockton has regular season games remaining against the following teams:

• Bakersfield (2)
• Ontario (7)
• Las Vegas (2)
• San Francisco (3)
• Idaho (1)

- In the Western Conference, postseason berths will be awarded to the first-place team in each division and the next six teams in the conference, based on points. The division winners will be seeded first and second and will play the eighth-place finisher and the seventh-place finisher, respectively, while the third-place finisher will meet the sixth-place finisher and the fourth-place finisher will meet the fifth-place finisher. The conference semifinals will have the winner of the first-place and eighth-place matchup playing the winner of the fourth-place and fifth-place game while the winner of the second-place and seventh-place game will face the winner of the third-place and sixth-place matchup.

- IF THE KELLY CUP PLAYOFFS BEGAN TODAY: the Thunder would face the Las Vegas Wranglers in the Western Conference Quarterfinal.

- Currently, 82 points guarantees a playoff spot as the 9th place Bakersfield Condors can only amass 71 points this season.

- The Thunder is three wins away from surpassing the 30-win plateau for the sixth time in club history (previously 2006-07, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12)